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Sonny Gray had thumb surgery, should be ready for spring training

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Athletics starter Sonny Gray underwent thumb surgery at the Cleveland Clinic, per Susan Slusser. The right-hander had a screw inserted to stabilize the fracture, suffered in his Game 5 loss to the Tigers in the ALDS.

Slusser says Gray should be ready to go when spring training arrives in February.

Gray became one of the Athletics’ most reliable starters after making his Major League debut on July 10. He wrapped up the regular season with a 2.67 ERA in 64 innings over 12 starts. He then outdueled Justin Verlander in Game 2 of the ALDS, tossing eight shutout frames as his Athletics went on to win 1-0. The A’s called on him in the fifth and final game of the ALDS but he wasn’t as effective, allowing three runs in five innings, as the Athletics were ultimately pushed out of ALCS contention.

Braves ink Blaine Boyer to a minor league deal

DENVER, CO - OCTOBER 2:  Relief pitcher Blaine Boyer #48 of the Milwaukee Brewers delivers to home plate during the seventh inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on October 2, 2016 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
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The Braves have signed reliever Blaine Boyer to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reports. Bowman adds that the right-hander has a “good chance” to make the Braves’ bullpen out of spring training.

Boyer, 35, spent the past season with the Brewers, finishing with a 3.95 ERA and a 26/17 K/BB ratio in 66 innings.

Boyer, of course, started his professional baseball career with the Braves as they selected him in the third round of the 2000 draft. Since the Braves traded him in 2009, Boyer has pitched for the Cardinals, Diamondbacks, Mets, Padres, and Twins along with the Brewers.

Report: Rays nearing a deal with Shawn Tolleson

ST. LOUIS, MO - JUNE 18: Reliever Shawn Tolleson #37 of the Texas Rangers pitches against the St. Louis Cardinals in the eighth inning at Busch Stadium on June 18, 2016 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
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Update (6:48 PM EST): Topkin reports the contract will be of the major league variety.

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Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Rays and free agent reliever Shawn Tolleson are close to finalizing a contract.

Tolleson, who turns 29 years old on Thursday, had an ugly 2016 season, finishing with a 7.68 ERA and a 29/10 K/BB ratio in 36 1/3 innings. He was one of the Rangers’ best relievers in the two seasons prior to that, however, which included saving 35 games in 2015.